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CHANGING ROOMS; Nola Napier-Wilson loves re-decorating..a can of paint, a few hours, and she has a whole new home.

IF Nola Napier-Wilson has a weakness, it's not clothes, or chocolate. It's colour.

She's always painting her home, and she thrives on it.

"This house is a bit like the Forth Bridge," she says, "When I get to the end, it's time to start again.

"Paint gives such a quick, satisfying result and, if it goes wrong, I just get another pot and cover the mistake. People can be a bit afraid, but it's only paint."

The cheerful north London home she shares with her husband Andrew and children Isabel, 13, and Harry, 11, has changed beyond recognition since they moved in 12 years ago, when the house was two flats.

She says: "Downstairs was almost derelict. We lived upstairs. I was stripping purple-painted woodchip off the walls the day before Harry arrived."

Once the children started school, Nola's enthusiasm for painting took her on a couple of courses and then into a partnership with a friend offering classes in paint techniques (for details call Special Effects on 0181- 348 1182).

Her home became the best place to experiment. The sitting room is mellow and welcoming. Nola painted the wall units in soft blue, green and coral which looks great against the honey-coloured wood flooring. The shelves house her quirky collection of glass fishes, mainly gathered from car boot sales.

Having splashed out for the starry wallpaper above the dado, Nola went to the opposite extreme for the rest of the walls, using plain brown wrapping paper, which works really well with the gold stars.

"It goes up very easily and, of course, it's really cheap," she explains." Also, when sticky fingers get onto it, you just rip it off and put up a new bit!"

She also found a great use for Easter-egg wrappers. She smoothed them out and used them in a patchwork around the loo window frame, sticking them down with PVA glue and adding a top coat of acrylic varnish. The speed at which she can transform a room is what really appeals to Nola. Her dining area, originally pale lemon, became hot turquoise and ochre in the space of an afternoon,

Nola's kitchen is black and cream with vibrant crimson inside the glass- fronted cupboards and a bright red blind.

She also transformed the main bedroom. She says: "The bed was yellowy- orange varnished pine, and really too high. We cut the legs down and painted it with matt black paint. Then all the black metal furniture suggested itself."

Earthy colourwashed walls offset black painted furniture to add extra drama to the bedroom

Polka dots and stripes are a fun combination in Harry''s bright blue and yellow bedroom

Nola had the table made by a local carpenter. The painted trim matches the window pelmets

Accessories in blue, turquoise and aquamarine complement the bathroom seashore theme

You''d never guess this stunning outlook was created using foil wrappers from Easter eggs

Colourwashed turquoise walls form a fresh, cool backdrop reminiscent of the ocean

Stark black and cream and splashes of colour make a strong impact in Nola''s smart kitchen

Nola sprayed shells gold and placed them next to a shining bowl to create a stylish display

How you can get that look

Sunny Yellow emulsion, Paint Magic (0171 354 9696).

Blue bottle pounds 7, green pounds 4, Bhs

Selection of shells, pounds 5, from Bhs

Stainless steel casserole pan, pounds 89, Purple Pom Pom (01285 810659)

Tall chest, pounds 265, McCord (0870 9087020)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 19, 1998
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